Monday, August 30, 2010

30 Rock

30 Rock Premieres Sept 23 on NBC. Tina Fey has said Paul Giamatti will guest star this season, and possibly Matt Damon will guest again.
There is also a live episode to air in October with Jon Hamm reprising his beautiful but stupid Dr. Baird role. I can't wait for the live episode. I have a feeling it will be a Carol Burnett and Friendsesque experience.
Counting the minutes.

Eddie Izzard on The United States of Tara

I just heard that Eddie Izzard is going to be on United States of Tara this coming season on Showtime. I love him so much. I loved his series The Riches, and have no idea why it was canceled. But I'm glad I'll be seeing him every week this spring on United States of Tara.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mad Men Episode 6 Season 4

Mad Men's Episode 6, Waldorf Stories was an interesting display of ambition. Beginning with Roger's wife's cousin trying to get a job. At first we think he is the most pathetic thing ever. That is until we see how Don got in the door.
Apparently, the brilliant Don Draper badgered Roger and when that didn't work got him blind drunk. So drunk in fact, Roger doesn't even remember hiring him. I'm not even sure he ever did hire him. Something about Don's smile as the elevator doors closed at the end of this episode. I'm starting to wonder if Don has ever earned anything in his life. I suppose to have risen to the top of Sterling Cooper so quickly he must have been good, or maybe he just stole.
On a happier note Peggy was amazing this episode, winning one for the feminists. Don told her she had to find a way to work with her new, more experienced, and chauvinistic partner. The new partner keeps harassing her about being a prude. So when they get locked in a hotel room for the weekend, to complete a project, she calls his bluff. When the partner won't stop talking about his nudist tendencies and flipping through a Playboy, she suggests they work nude. It's brilliant! He can't hide his arousal and ends up having to give in and get dressed.
Poor Pete, looks like Ken Cosgrove will be joining SCDP. Pete tried to make a power play up front, to make sure Ken would know his place, but as soon as everyone sees Ken they're all talking to him with their backs to Pete. Pete has been doing so well this season, and by that I mean he hasn't raped anyone, I hope this doesn't send him in the wrong direction.
In Don's drunken haze he ends up using one of Roger's wife's cousin's tag lines with a client. Don tries to just buy the tag line from him but he wants a job not a check. Don has to hire him to hide his own mistake. Just like Roger had to hire him.
I had hoped we had seen an end to Don's drinking but this episode had Don losing a whole weekend, waking up with a mystery waitress when Betty calls to find out why he's two hours late to pick up the kids. He really is a terrible father. I think I must be an enabler, cause now I'm sure he'll be better next week. Maybe this will be the binge that makes him get it together??? I hope. We'll see next week.

Jimmy Fallon's Pre Emmy Message

Jimmy Fallon just posted this Pre Emmy message. He looks a bit nervous to me. But I have faith he is going to kill it tonight. Hoping for all wins for my Mad Men tonight. I'll actually be turning off the Emmy's to watch my Mad Men mid show tonight. I'm kind of surprised they have a new Mad Men episode tonight, but I'm glad they do.
Right now, I'm watching E! pre Emmy show. I'm liking their clips from the past. So far I've seen Will and Grace and Friends. Fun to see those old favorites.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

George Clooney in The American

George Clooney's new movie The American open Sept 1st. That's this Wednesday people. I love my George Clooney. This movie is about an assassin on his last job. It looks dark but I'm seeing it as soon as possible.

Here's the IMDB Plot Summary:
Alone among assassins, Jack is a master craftsman. When a job in Sweden ends more harshly than expected for this American abroad, he vows to his contact Larry that his next assignment will be his last. Jack reports to the Italian countryside, where he holes up in a small town and relishes being away from death for a spell. The assignment, as specified by a Belgian woman, Mathilde, is in the offing as a weapon is constructed. Surprising himself, Jack seeks out the friendship of local priest Father Benedetto and pursues romance with local woman Clara. But by stepping out of the shadows, Jack may be tempting fate.

Sounds good right? Here's the trailer, just in case you have doubts.

Richard Pryor Double Feature at The Aero

American Cinematheque at The Aero Theatre in Santa Monica is showing a double feature this Friday of Richard Pryor comedy shows. He really was a genius. I remember watching both of these shows on the Z channel over and over again.

Here's the Aero's synopsis. Buy tickets at Fandango

September 3 · 7:30pm - 10:30pm

Double Feature: RICHARD PRYOR LIVE ON THE SUNSET STRIP, 1982, Sony Repertory, 82 min. Richard Pryor came back from his nearly fatal freebasing accident to create the best stand-up act of his career, captured beautifully in this landmark concert film by director Joe Layton and cinematographer Haskell Wexler. Pryor's riffs on marriage, the mob, Africa, and his own drug problems are hilarious, but the underlying complexity of his material makes this the rare stand-up routine that's as poignant as it is funny.

RICHARD PRYOR... HERE AND NOW, 1983, Sony Repertory, 83 min. Dir. Richard Pryor. The final concert film of arguably the greatest stand up comedian of all time, is his most raucous and political, as he takes on Ronald Reagan, racism, and the hecklers in the audience, as well as reintroducing classic characters like wino philosopher Mudbone!

Aero Theatre
1328 Montana Ave at 14th St
Santa Monica, CA


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Leap of Faith at The Ahmanson

Leap of Faith will make it's world premieres at The Ahmanson September 11th. It stars Raul Esparza(4 time Tony nominee) and Brook Sheilds and is based on the film, that starred Steve Martin.

Here's a great deal
$49 Rear Orchestra and Mezzanine Seats(Reg. $80 - $95)
for performances Sept 11 - 21
buy Leap of Faith tickets here
Use the promo code: MIRACLE

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mad men Season 4 Episode 5

Mad Men Episode 5, The Chrysanthemum and The Sword, was a relief. Don seems to have finally sobered up. I thought he might after the closing scene last week, where the neighbors wife can't even talk about a fruit purchase in public. It looks like Don is ready to open up from this weeks scene with Dr. Fay. I know everyone has been waiting for Don and her to get together, and now that Don is showing her his real feelings they just might.
The whole thing with the Honda account was classic Mad Men. I love watching Don work. The book The Chrysanthemum and The Sword's main contribution was pointing out the difference between guilt versus shame societies. I can't decide which Don is from, probably both. Roger seems to be living in both worlds too. Guilty to work with the Japanese after his experiences in the pacific in WWII, and shame that he can't pull the big clients in.
Sally is really struggling. Thank god Henry Francis is the best stepfather in history. Hopefully, Don will make a meeting with the psychologist and learn to at least be a passably present father. Did anyone else recognize the shrink from True Blood. I swear they have an exchange program between these two shows. She's the third actor to do both shows by my count.
Speaking of which, it was good to see Bethanny again. Don needed to have someone presentable to take to Benihana. Three dates in five months does not bode well for Bethanny. She's the opposite of a booty call, she's a respectability call.
They did slip in a call to California, which Miss Blankenship tell us no one answered. I think Anna's death is imminent and will be the final straw for Don. Once she is gone Don will have to reconcile Don and Dick. I picture Don ultimately becoming, if not totally open, at least significantly less secretive.
I feel like the second half of the sixties was about letting go of the expectations and being who you really were. We're seeing it with Peggy and I think we will see it with the rest of the cast, to varying degrees the rest of this season.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Michael J. Fox on The Good Wife

The Good Wife premieres on CBS September 28th, starring Julianna Margulies. I was already excited, but I just heard Michael J. Fox is going to guest this season. Apparently he'll be playing a slimey lawyer. Is that redundant?
I love this show and I love Michael J. Fox, so it's just win win for me. Oh!! and Alan Cumming is on The Good Wife, so it's win win win. Also Chris Noth...well you see where this is going.
I guess you know where I'll be September 28th. Care to join me...

Yellowstone National Park Vacation

I am vacationing in Yellowstone National Park. Please excuse my lack of posting, but they don't have WiFi in the park. I'll be home tomorrow and will post my Mad Men wrap up tomorrow night. In the mean time here are some of the highlights from my trip. If you haven't been to Yellowstone you should really do it.

West Thumb Geyser Basin

Old Faithful

Some of the many many buffalo

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mad Men Episode 4 Season 4 The Rejected

The Rejected:

Dr. Fay gathers up the under 25 year old girls in the office to form her focus group to see how the Ponds ad should be promoted, behind the glass we watch the first girl break down into a rejected mass of feminine insecurity, then Allison, Don's secretary follows suit in tears thinking about her rejection by Don. Don is on the other side of glass sweating it out that Allison will spill his secret.
Things are tangling up for Don in the office, where previously Don did not fool with the secretaries, now he doesn't know to keep business and personal separated. Allison says to Peggy, "Don is a drunk, and he pretends things didn't happen". This is the third time someone close to Don uses that pejorative.
Pete feels rejection when the client demands that Clearasil is in conflict with Ponds, and must be dropped by SCDP. Pete fought to get that contract from his father-in-law, and now he must tell him that the contract is dropped. To Pete's credit he "turns chicken shit into chicken salad" and demands that with Clearasil gone, his father-in-law must award SCDP the larger part of the company's business. His father-in-law knows Pete won this round because he can't refuse Pete his demand, since Pete and his daughter might now give him a grandchild. He mutters under his breath son-of-bitch... Pete played the grandchild card, and won.
With Pete telling everyone at SCDP that he is to be a father, Peggy feels a real stabbing rejection, since she has already given birth to Pete's first born son, she holds fast to her secret and just surprisingly bangs her head against the desk, a few times, without messing a single hair on her head. (One criticism I have about pregnancy talk - at this time, no one would mention their pregnancy until they would be "showing". It would be kept secret between a husband and wife. Miscarriages could take place easily during the first 4 to 5 months and one should not tempt fate, so secrecy was the practice.) Peggy does maintain control and leads with her head instead of her heart.
Dr. Fay tells Don her Focus Groups shows that the ad of Ponds Cold Cream must be rejected - the one that is a new idea, that women want to do the beauty ritual - 7 day beauty regime - for themselves. Dr Fay declares the Ponds ad must show women's desire to get married is fullfilled by using Ponds. Don knows that that concept is old-fashioned, like Peggy told Freddie.
The biggest Rejection, and what this episode is named for is illustrated with Peggy's initiation into the world of NYC Art scene. Here she is partying with the Counterculture glitterati in the bohemian anti-establishment world. Smoking weed, watching film art, hobnobbing with famous photographers, meeting a lesbian friend, (Joyce), discussing radical politics, (Malcolm X assassination) , kissing a journalist in the closet while the party is raided by police.
At lunchtime, when you see the SUITS on the right of the lobby and the counter-culture kids on the left of the lobby, you see Peggy locking eyes with Pete, each ensconced with their peer group - separated by a dimension of glass, a metaphor for the real separation that is taking place in society. The Suits vs. the youth, but it is a portent of what is taking place in society. Change.....
Don the Drunk stumbles with his key into his apartment, and watches the geezer across the hall berated by the old wife, "Did you get pears?" "We'll discuss it inside". Even the geezer has to experience his rejection - until he is buried and the gravedigger is throwing dirt on him.
Remember Dr Fay said the human condition is the conflict of "What I want to do vs what is expected of me. "

Lady Madonna

This post was written by Madonna from the Mad Men Yahoo group. I am currently roaming with the buffalo in Yellowstone national park, where there is no TV (the horror). I am only out of the park for a day, so I am able to post this.

A huge thank you to Madonna for taking this on. It's so good I'll be embarrassed to do it next week.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Jimmy Fallon hosts Emmy's Aug. 29

Jimmy Fallon will be hosting the Emmy's Aug 29th. But the big story is this Emmy ad Jimmy made with Christina Hendricks, spoofing Mad Men. Apparently, the competition feels it gives Mad Men an unfair advantage in their contests for 17 emmys. I guess I see their point, but the ad is still great.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Love, Loss, and What I Wore Discount

Love, Loss, and What I Wore at the Geffen Playhouse is a great show. The cast changes every four weeks, but the material is so good, it just doesn't matter. I saw it in May and wrote this review.

They just sent me a discount for 10% off. Just use code LLPC10 at

I can guarentee you will love it. The current cast includes Meredith Baxter (Family Ties),Florence Henderson (Brady Bunch), Paula Christensen (the Groundlings), Gina Torres (Firefly) and Tony Award winner Marissa Jaret Winokur (Hairspray). I may have to see it again myself!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Eat Pray Love

Eat Pray Love opens this Friday the August 13th. It stars Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem. I was invited by Sony to see a screening last night.

I enjoyed the book, though I agreed with many who thought Ms. Gilbert was somewhat whiny. Still the book was diverting. I think most middle aged married women have a fantasy of leaving their husbands and running off for an grand adventure. It's got to be right up there with George Clooney on the fantasy meter. Or maybe that's just me... Whichever, I liked the book overall.

The film is fun to look at. I love Julia Roberts. I could just watch her smile and laugh for a whole movie. The scenery is also gorgeous, and the food in Italy looks delicious. But the film is not very substantive, it leans more to the romantic comedy genre then anything else. But not a particularly good one. Most of the real enlightenment of the character is not seen in the film.

If you don't expect too much you will be entertained for a couple hours. I recommend making reservations at a really good italian restaurant immediately following your viewing. You're going to be hungry for pasta. Trust me.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Date Night DVD Giveaway

Date Night comes out on DVD tomorrow, August 10th. I know I'm the last person in the world to see it. Somehow I missed it when it was in the theatre. But if somehow you missed it too, here's a little set up.
It's about a married couple, who in an effort to jazz up their marriage have an exciting date night, that gets way more exciting than they intended. It stars Tina Fey and Steve Carell, so really it could be about just about anything and be brilliant.
Fox has given me two copies to giveaway. Leave a comment on this post with your email and follow my blog for an extra chance to win. I'll draw a winner on Wednesday, August 11.

All entrant should be within the contiguous United States.

Good Luck!!

we have our two winners Deanna and Bernadette. Thanks for playing everyone.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Mad Men "The Good New" S4 E3

Mad Men's third episode, left me wondering what the good news was the episode was named for. Perhaps it was the improved bed side manner of Joan's gynecologist. Or maybe that Joan's two abortions haven't affected her fertility. My new theory on Joan is that she has completely recreated herself too. She and Don may have more in common than we know.
Joan showed her hand, no pun intended, when her husband wanted to fix her hand. It was obvious she didn't trust his ability. Joan's getting a little sloppy all the way around. The whole fried chicken thing with Lane was not up to her standards. Then the complete flip out about the flowers, seemed unlike her.
Speaking of Lane, he really knows how to cut loose. The scene of him in the steakhouse was hysterical. "Look at me. I've got a big Texas belt buckle. That and the $25 whores equals the Americanization of Lane Pryce. Don and Lane's night out was pretty funny from beginning to end. The Godzilla movie was really unexpected.
It was good to see Anna, though you could tell from the moment Don entered the house things were coming apart for her. The leaking ceiling and the broken leg. Cancer was a forgone conclusion. She has been Don's moral compass, once she's gone god only knows what will become of him.
I was disappointed that Don didn't do the hard thing and tell Anna the bad news and stay to help her. Of course, I was disappointed that he hit on the teenager too, before she told him Anna was dying. Anytime Don gets in the car with young people it comes out badly. You would think he would have taken the hint the time he got mugged.
Basically, the good news is that the company actually had a good year, but all the employees lives are coming apart at the seams. Don obviously, but Lane is headed for divorce, and Joan's marriage is on hold at best, a facade at worst.
On a lighter note, looks like Lane will be needing a new secretary. Maybe we'll get to see Hildy or, please please please, Lois in the halls of SCDP.

Does anyone know whose stand up routine that was in the comedy club? It sounded so familiar. "We know you're practicing self abuse. Come out with your hand up." Is it Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, who is that???? Also what happened at the 1963 Time Square New Years. Allison alludes to it at the beginning of the episode, but I have no idea.

Next Week: Based on the scenes from next week it looks like something is going to happen with the Clearsil account. I recognize the back of Pete's father in laws head. That may be the first sign, I've crossed into a bad place with my Mad Men addiction.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Mildred Pierce on HBO

Mildred Pierce is being remade by HBO as a five part series and will air this spring. I really love this movie, so it's a little scary for me to think of someone messing with it. But I'm also intrigued. Maybe they will add something fabulous to it.

From my snooping on the tweets of people at the TCA HBO panel today I gleened that the HBO version will be based on the book. I didn't even know there was a book. It will star Kate Winslet, Guy Pearce, Evan Rachel Wood, and Brian O'Byrne. So at least we know the casting is top notch.

Anyway, consider this your heads up to hit the library and bone up on this Mildred Pierce book. You just know Hollywood cut it to ribbons back in the day.

Here's a picture of Kate Winslet in costume. She definitely looks more 1930's than 1940's, which is when the original film was made (1945).


I spent the majority of the last week at TCA, The Television Critic Association. This is a conference where all the TV networks do panels of their upcoming shows for all the television critics. I am not a member, yet, but a few of the networks invited me as their guest, Showtime, PBS, and Discovery. Unfortunately, AMC and TNT were not there this time.
There were lots of fun things that happened, like meeting Ken Burns (pictured above with me and Mar Vista Mom). He was talking about his upcoming PBS show the 10th Inning. I also screwed up my courage to ask Kenneth Branagh a question about his second season of Wallender, also for PBS.
Showtime highlights included The Big C, which I wrote about last week. It really is a great show. I've had a chance to see a few of the episodes. The other show that I'm anxious to see is Episodes with Matt LeBlanc. It looks very funny.
The Discovery Channels, Animal Planet, Planet Green, etc...of course had a myriad of great looking science, animal, and human interest shows that I'll be waiting impatiently for.
I'll be rolling out posts on all the great shows I got to see this week as they get closer to their premiere dates. Sorry again for being MIA last week. But as you can see I was really up to my eyeballs.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Modern Family

This week has been nuts so I apologies for not posting more. The first crazy fun thing I did this week was go to a table read of Modern Family. My very good friend, getting gooder all the time, Carlos invited me to go with him.

We had a great time at the cocktail party before hand, possible too good of a time. But really the table read was the main event. The cast was great and really seemed to enjoy one another. I'm not allowed to say anything about the script. But as everyone who watches Modern Family knows, it was hysterical. Modern Family premieres Wednesday, Sept. 22.

And if all this wasn't enough, I bumped into Rich Sommer AKA Harry Crane on Mad Men at the event. Unfortunately, he had not been quite as carefree at the bar during the cocktail party, so I wasn't able to get any details about the goings on at Sterling, Cooper, Draper, and Pryce out of him. But, he was incredibly cordial with what I'm sure was his nine millionth fan interruption of the day. The picture is a bit blurry but you get the idea.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mad Men Episode 2 Season 4

Mad Men Season 4 Episode 2 was a bit of a disappointment. I was hoping we'd get a lot more. It was good to see some faces from the past, however. Even if one of them was Lee Garner, from Lucky Strike. What a turkey, as my father would say.
It was kind of a surprise to see Glen this week. I'm not sure if Glen was trashing The Draper/Francis house to get back at Betty for marrying someone else, or to help Sally by pushing the family to move into a new house. Either way it was well played by the young actor,and I can't wait to see Betty's face when Glen comes to pick Sally up for a dance.
Another surprise was Freddy. I guess he's in AA, based on his "fraternity" with Ponds. I'm hoping he'll pull it out, but he will have to catch up with the times, or suffer the wrath of Peggy. Pete's going to have to get over his issues too. Especially, if HoHo is gone and Freddy is pulling in big accounts from his "fraternity".
Speaking of AA, Don needs to get his drinking under control. Based on his showing up wasted every night and sleeping with his secretary after the christmas party. Don knows that was bad form, but at least he gave her a huge bonus for the effort. $100 in 1964/1965 would be at least a month salary and she didn't even have to slap him around.
Finally, a little flirtation between Roger and Joan. If we can kill off Joan's husband, it will be nothing to divorce Jane and get them together. He obviously obsesses about her. Though, I'm not certain she takes him seriously. Another heart attack may be neccesary to get them sign, sealed, and delivered.
I was hoping to see Sal tonight, but no such luck. I'll keep my fingers crossed for him next week. See you then.